Productivity isn’t just about tasks like purchasing a faster printer, or changing your logistics supplier. Productivity gains can be made by making your employees happier and squeezing more out of their working day. One of the ways in which you can make this happen is by providing flexible working conditions.
Today we take a look at a number of ways you can increase flexibility in the workplace. It’s just part of our workplace productivity series – you can take a squiz at our article on Business Intelligence tools for productivity here.
Flexible working hours
Meet Nick. Nick likes to sleep until midday and finds his most productive hours are between 1 and 4am. Or how about Anisha. She has kids so isn’t available before 10am or after 2.30pm, because she’s busy with the little ones, but she’s happy to work in between and for an hour or two after 9pm.
Both Nick and Anisha are amazingly qualified, dedicated people, who’d be perfect for roles within your company. But if you don’t have flexible working hours in place then you have to automatically deduct them from your candidate pool.
Why overlook the best candidates for a role simply because they don’t fit your working hours mould? It’s time to accomodate for the best talent, rather than getting a mediocre worker who can simply make it to the office when it suits you.
Think outside the box and develop flexible working conditions that can help your business achieve more with the right team – no matter their time restrictions. This might look like some employees working from home sometimes or all the time, or making your office a 24/7 space, to accomodate for those night owls and early birds.
The mobile workplace
According to Deloitte’s latest research, the average Australian spends around 3 hours a day on their smartphone – with more people taking their phone when they leave the house than their wallet or even house keys!
Regardless of being locked out of the house with only a phone to save us, there’s no denying as a culture we’re glued to our phones. So why not capitalise on that in the workplace?
Implementing clever mobile solutions in the workplace can lead to productivity gains that simply aren’t achievable by desktop or laptop alone. And we aren’t just talking about checking emails from home.
By going mobile you can do things like:
- Build enterprise apps to help your employees achieve work tasks without being tethered to a desk
- Allow employees to do work while commuting (counting it as work hours), making it easier for employees to live further away from the office, but not considering commute time as a hinderance when accepting a job (or staying on at a company far from home)
- Gain more user insights to feed Business Intelligence systems, for refining employee workflows
- Allow employees to ‘go light’ to meetings, taking a phone or tablet instead of a cumbersome laptop
- Implement a BYOD system so employees can use their own devices that they’re already familiar with
- Build a tech-first work culture to make your company more appealing, adding things like a fun corporate internet, chat groups, and enterprise social networking.
Remote work opportunities
The future is remote! With new-wave working models like outsourcing complete business departments, the gig economy, and contracting for projects rather than hiring full time staff, the way that we are working is changing.
For many companies, that will mean adding remote workers to the team. There are plenty of roles in most business where attendance in the office is unnecessary, thanks to the power of technology. Now, it’s easy to work and collaborate on internal documents and projects concurrently. We can chat in real time face to face via video conferencing, instant messaging, message boards, group chats… For example, you can take a look at the wealth of options available in Microsoft Teams.
Adding remote workers may seem tricky if you are inexperienced with the workflow, but with the right tools and team in place it can actually be more productive and save you money (on office space, equipment, etc.).
The added benefit of remote workers is that you can pick a candidate from literally anywhere in the world. You aren’t bound by the small, local pool of talent in your area.
Mums in the workplace
One of the struggles for women is balancing a career and having children. Not every mother has the opportunity to have a stay at home husband, a nanny or au pair, or the option of daycare – nor wants to utilize these options, even if they are available.
For many women, going back to work full time after having kids is either not a viable option, or very tricky to navigate – and the more children they have, the trickier it can be to manage.
Taking time off work to raise children can significantly hinder a woman’s career. Their skills can slip, they can miss opportunities for promotion or new roles, and they can miss pay raises that their non-child-rearing peers easily achieve. Plus, the longer someone is out of the workforce, the harder it is to get a foothold back in.
There are ways to combat this mum knowledge drain in the workplace:
- Increased work from home solutions
- Longer paid maternity and paternity leave
- A return to work initiative for mums who used to work for the company (e.g. years ago)
- Child friendly workspaces (e.g. a ‘mum’s office’ within your building)
- Time-share positions
- Mum mentoring programs for pre and return to work to help organise work/life responsibilities
- Shorter working hours to fit in with school
- Subsidised childcare (or on-site creche)
- Pay rises, even while mums are away
- Rapid up-skilling programmes for women coming back into the workforce
- Management and exec share appointments for mums so they have the opportunity to climb the career ladder
How A1 Technologies can help with flexible working conditions
How do we fit into the picture here? Many flexible working conditions are aided by technology solutions. We can help with things like designing a remote work system that works for your company, develop a secure BYOD system or help with enterprise apps. Chat with us now to brainstorm flexible working solutions that will give those productivity gains you’re looking for.
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